Activision Blizzard (ATVI - Snapshot Report) recently announced that Diablo III will be available for Sony’s (SNE - Analyst Report) PlayStation 3 (“PS3”) and PlayStation 4 (“PS4”). Currently, only the PC version of the game is in the market. The game was released on May 15, 2012.
Diablo III consists of a pulsating and riveting quest by the gamers to banish the forces of evil from the “Sanctuary.” Players can play the role of any of the five characters namely barbarian, witch doctor, wizard, monk and demon hunter.
Diablo III was one of the most successful games in 2012. The game has sold more than 12 million units as of Dec 31, 2012, according to The NPD Group, GfK Chart-Track, and Activision’s estimates. Activision’s initiative to expand the platform for Diablo III should be incrementally beneficial for the company.
The PS3 version of the game will be on display at PAX East to be held at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center scheduled from Mar 22 to Mar 24, 2013.
The PlayStation version of the game will be available with all the regular features of the PC version including the latest upgrades. Additionally, a new user interface is being designed by the company that will enhance the game play on the PlayStation.
Nonetheless, Diablo III’s splendid performance in 2012 has prompted Activision to remain cautious about fiscal 2013 due to higher year-over-year comparisons. Volatile macroeconomic environment and uncertainty related to the console transition are the other factors for the company’s cautious 2013 outlook.
Moreover, continued softness in the video game industry, limited presence in the mobile gaming segment, higher adoption of free-to-play games and significant competition from Electronic Arts (EA - Analyst Report) and Take-Two Interactive Software (TTWO - Snapshot Report) are the major headwinds for Activision going forward. Additionally, continued investments in new products and upgrades for the upcoming next generation consoles are expected to hurt margins in the near term.
Currently, Activision has a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).